SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE FEATURED ARTICLE:

Responsible Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing has been in existence for more than 6,000 years. It is incumbent that we take the lead to ensure its existence for at least another 6,000 years.

The Council for Responsible Sport [CRS] was created in September 2007 to serve as a model for sustainable sports marketing endeavors. It was formed by City of Portland [Oregon] Triathlon organizers Jonathan Eng and Jeff Henderson. It is an effort to promote awareness respective to minimizing the carbon footprint of mass participation events. It is a blueprint for taking action and its advisory board  ceaselessly toil to expand its network and outreach on a global scale.

Find below some of the reasons why race directors ought to consider CRS membership before the explosive growth of sport snowshoeing becomes a carbon footprint disaster. The principles of CRS are applicable to all facets of our sport.

Read more about CRS at http://www.resport.org.

CRS Event Certification: Why certify?

You’ve made a commitment to respect the environment through the production of your event. You’ve put in the hours and produced the sweat to cause meaningful change. You’re doing the right thing, and you’ve truly become more sustainable. So what’s the point of certification from the Council for Responsible Sport?

Demonstration of your commitment

CRS certification asserts to the public that your event is produced responsibly. By providing independent verification, the certification raises public’ confidence that you have their best interests in mind. And by affirming their values, participation is encouraged.

Recognition of your efforts

Your athletes, local community, sponsors, and volunteers deserve to know what you’ve done. By enlisting them in the process, you can further the practice of acting responsibly. Sporting events have tremendous potential for shaping attitudes and habits through the passions they stir; the more people know about what you are doing, the more impact your event can have.

Widen your reach

It’s known as the “ripple effect.” Change enacted locally is carried to other communities, where practices are shared and broadened. The Council for Responsible Sport provides a shared medium of transmitting environmental awareness; certified events form a community that allow change to take place on a much wider scale.

Differentiation from other events

It’s not a level playing field. Due to geographical location, time of your year, proximity to an airport, or a thousand other factors, every event has a different ability to draw participants. Producing a responsible event is not an easy task, so naturally not every event will do so; this differentiation provides opportunity in the marketplace. Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport designates your event as different and more attractive to consumers.

Acceptance by your local community

It takes a leap of faith for a local community to embrace a new event. As the years go by, the trust that is earned allows an event to grow and flourish. CRS certification provides evidence to local administrators and politicians that your event is committed to respecting the community, both its people and its environment.

Attract athletes and sponsors

A growing number of consumers demand responsible practices in their everyday lives – from their food to their appliances to their air and water. Likewise, corporations are beginning to asses their own environmental footprint. A new economy is emerging, an economy that champions “green” practices and rewards sustainability as an innovation. Participants and sponsorships pay the bills at sporting events; it is in an event’s best interests to appeal to both.

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The CRS standard include both guidelines and suggestions as to how to achieve them. A certified event meets defined levels of sustainability along five categories:

Waste

* How much packaging is recycled or composted?
* Is the quantity of printed items minimized?
* Do printed items use recycled paper and/or vegetable-based ink?

Climate

* Are alternative-fuel vehicles used?
* Have steps been taken to offset (or restore) the carbon footprint?
* Is food sourced locally?

Materials and Equipment

* Are materials reused, shared, or recycled?
* Are alternative, environmentally-friendly materials given preference?

Community and Outreach

* Can local assets (parks, waterways, trails, bike lanes) be bettered through the event?
* Are participants encouraged to adhere to a pledge of responsible sport?

Health Promotion

* Can youth or beginners get involved?
* Does education of health benefits happen?

CRS Green events adhere to principles set forth in five categories: waste, climate, materials/equipment, community/outreach, and health promotion. One credit is awarded for each standard met, and three additional credits are available for innovative practices not defined in the standard. Out of a possible 40 credits, events can qualify for the following levels of sustainability:

Evergreen: 36+ points

Gold: 31-35 points

Silver: 26-30 points

Certified: 21-25 points

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Prerequisites

*General: Event must create a written plan for addressing environmental and social sustainability
*General: Event must notify the public that certification is being pursued and which credits are targeted.
*Waste: Event must recycle (with on-site stations) at least one of the following: cardboard, paper, metal, plastic, or glass.

Version 1.0 of the CRS Standards may be viewed at  http://www.resport.org/certification/standards.php. There are case studies available and a comprehensive case study respective to mass production sports marketing is slated to be published before the end of 2008.

Snowshoeing is light on your joints and Mother Earth. The precepts of CRS are designed to keep it that way.

This entry was posted in Features, General by Jeff Kildahl, Wellness Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jeff Kildahl, Wellness Editor

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, educator, researcher, and wellness consultant advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine. Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete with doctorates in plant-based sports nutrition and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ that helps others harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life." He is a spirited Team Vega member, wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications. Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to manifest optimum wellness and transcend human performance ~ http://thewholisticedge.com.